Preserving Muscle Mass as You Age

A top-down view of skeletal muscle

A top-down view of skeletal muscle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the many challenges facing individuals as they age is what’s known as sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass over time. What’s especially significant about this problem is that losing muscle mass makes people more susceptible to falling and places them at greater risk of fractures and other injuries.

The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) Nutrition Working Group created a report that identifies both nutritional factors that result in loss of muscle mass, and factors that aid in its maintenance. These researchers evaluated evidence from a number of studies on the role of protein, acid-base balance, vitamin D/calcium, and other minor nutrients like B vitamins.

Here are some of the highlights of the Group’s report:

  • The authors recommend that older adults have a protein intake of 1.0-1.2 grams per kg of body weight each day to maintain optimum skeletal muscle and bone health.
  • Older adults should get vitamin D through exposure to sunlight and/or supplementation if necessary. Vitamin D supplements are recommended for seniors, especially for elderly individuals in institutions.
  • Older adults should avoid eating too much acid-producing nutrients like meat and cereal grains, and eat more alkalizing fruits and vegetables.
  • There is increasing evidence that vitamin B12 and/or folic acid improve muscle function and strength.

~ by chasm63 on January 20, 2013.

2 Responses to “Preserving Muscle Mass as You Age”

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